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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Calendar > Arts and Culture

Riverfest draws big crowd for its 27th year

By Rich Klein - reporter / photographer

By: Rich Klein | Democrat
Grahamsville resident Brian Harnett, a chainsaw sculptor, was one of the many vendors at Riverfest on Sunday.
NARROWSBURG — It remains one of the premier art and cultural events each year for Sullivan County residents as well as for many other residents from northeast Pennsylvania and beyond.
On Sunday, the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA) held its 27th annual “Riverfest” on Main Street, filled with art, assorted vendors and entertainment. The popular poster board art auction, benefits the DVAA's Gallery Program, and features donated work by local artists sold to the highest bidder by auctioneer Tony Staffieri.
Local blues band Peter Florance and The New Kings kicked off Riverfest with a mid-morning set, followed by the poster auction at midday - and more local music by Little Sparrow in the afternoon.
Main Street was packed with visitors all day, checking out the many artists and other vendors, which included some causes and non-profit organizations. Kids enjoyed face painting and a table to make “stress balls” and many were nibbling on (organic) cotton candy and staying cool with homemade Italian ices.

And on the walkway of the bridge separating Narrowsburg and Pennsylvania, two men from the Delaware Highlands Conservancy had their telescopic lenses fixed on a beautiful eagle sitting peacefully in a tree across the river.
The artist community in Sullivan County, new DVAA Executive Director Ariel Shanberg says, is a “rich blend of artists working within historic traditions that are relevant to the region we are in - as well as artists bringing a global perspective to it and informing those traditions.”
Among the artist vendors, Grahamsville resident Brian Harnett, a chainsaw carver, said he has been involved in the craft for a decade, noting that his birdhouses are his most popular items.
Another vendor, Seema Goldstein, a watercolor artist has spent the last 31 summers in Monticello and the rest of the year in Brooklyn. She said she gets inspired by the local Sullivan Catskills scenery and often takes landscape photographs as subjects for her paintings. “Watercolor is my love...I won't go back to oil,” she said.
Pottery maker Rachel Brown from New Paltz said she doesn't mind the long trip from New Paltz and has been a vendor at Riverfest since 2010. “It's a really good crowd here and, for most part, I do well here,” Brown said.

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